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‘The Emperor’s Sword’ review: Great Wuxia action

Great Wire-Fu action.

The Emperor’s Sword may sound a little too formulaic for some. A deadly sword that bestows great power has been divided and hidden. After the emperor dies, a deranged rebel stages a massacre while searching for the sword. The daughter of a great general must stop the tyrant for complete domination. Along the way, there are secrets to be learned and friends to be made.

The plot gives the audience a good idea of what kind of movie they will be getting. There will probably be some character development, the story will be by the numbers, and the action will be the focus. While The Emperor’s Sword does check off many of those boxes, but it also manages to do so in a way that does not come off as derivative.

Much of the film is actually one big chase scene. This is actually a surprising addition that works quite well. With action movies, the tension often amounts to who is going to win the big fight. What The Emperor’s Sword does is not particularly original, but it is also not something that is not seen as often in the genre. The amount of bow and arrow play is also a nice change of pace. 

The battle scenes are where The Emperor’s Sword truly excels. Fans of Wuxia will immediately be drawn to them. As is the case with the best of these films, the fight scenes are well choreographed, and some of them can even be breathtaking. There are some flaws in the general storytelling, but the more fast paced sequences never disappoint.

The story succeeds by playing to its strengths. There is no wanted motion and the movie gets maximum value from its high powered action scenes. The Emperor’s Sword does have a tendency to lean a little too heavily on CGI, but it is a fun ride. Unlike other films in the genre, it is not necessary to grade this one on a curve to enjoy it.

The Emperor’s Sword comes to Blu-Ray and digital November 9

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